The Austin Paradox: William Leibowitz
Reliving his past what happens when he learns some harsh truths in the present. Dr. Robert James Austin is deemed a genius and his medical breakthroughs are countless. What appears to have been an explosion in his primary lab where the intended victim was Dr. Austin, what intelligence and intellectual prowess disappeared and vanished in the explosion, which was intended to take his life? But, Austin is considered a genius and the greatest in medical history and whose medical cures would save millions of people. Living each day going through stacks of mail and then wondering where his life was going and in what direction, his wife Christina and his partner in Uniserve Susan at his side, Robert realizes that he can still make a difference in the field of math without delving back into medical science. Wanting to get a new lab and hoping to find his way back again, he seems to have regained some intellectual abilities but claims there’s a force or voice that tries to guide him in the wrong direction and if he can keep it at a distance he can restart his lab and hopefully solve some more mysteries of medicine. But, when telling this to his wife things spiral in a different direction as she explains what two others have told her and Susan about his mental condition. Battling demons, forces that cannot be seen and hoping to restore his abilities, first he has to deal with a government that wants to control his actions and movements.
Meeting with someone close to the situation he is shown videos that markedly prove or they want him to think showing Robert creating bombs and possibly blowing up his own lab. A doctor based on the videos that Robert has an alternate personality formed a diagnosis. Anger welled within him and threats were made on both sides as he was told that if he did not complete a specific job involving cyber infiltration and more they would use the videos to discredit him. With his wife and assistant on the side of the others who had the videos, Robert needs to fight this alone. But, will he win?
Within this plot there are several other players who want to create a virus that would kill millions of people and the person who created it feels his own guilt Another party wants him to create a cure for this horrific virus, give it to him and not allow access to the cure unless they pay the ultimate price he demands. Humanity is at take, lives will be exposed to this virus and profits will be made but at whose expense? Austin poses a threat to it all.
As we get to know those that created the virus we witness the devastation and annihilation of the people in Rakut who never saw it coming. Shots fired a spray and the end result as graphically depicted and described by the author is horrific letter reading know this could really happen if we are not more alert. At the same time Bobby gets hold of the discs with his AIDS cure and hopes to reproduce it using the tapes over a long period of time but at the end the solution is gone can he recreate it? His relationship with his family is tenuous and tense as he moves into his new quarters or lab will Christina and his children be allowed to live there too? Susan is his right hand and monitors everything he does and reports back to his wife.
Ansar Jamaat is the head of the caliph and anyone who dares to not surrender to Ansar Yusuf al-Saeed will suffer the Sword of Mahdi. Videos of the deaths of the first people infected with the disease did not strike enough panic so thus lunatic with the help of his troops numerous men in HAZMAT suits destroyed Ramuk and its population. “You have now seen the sword of the Mahdi no mercy for apostates and infidels” but the popular word it was a hoax until he honed in on Ramuk and killed eve. While Bobby races the clock to find the cure for aids. Author William R. Leibowitz research into the aids virus its causes how it spreads and the history behind it is extensive. The virus that is now a possible pandemic might mirror more than just aids but many other deadly diseases combined to take out populations. Rakut woke to the artillery shots and a group of unknowingly volunteers scooped them up to be buried sealing their own fates. Some try to escape we’re killed but those whose bodies did not were placed in a prison like cell to find out why. Rakut was exterminated and Saeed turned to Dr Mahmoud who created the virus to discuss the cure. But did he or the orchestrator Colum McAllister care? Gunther Ramirez pretends to be someone else posing as his lawyer and you get to hear first hand the sick mind of this man who plans to take down millions and make millions at any cost.
Bobby is racing the clock and now knows about the other virus that is spreading with they be connected and is there a link that will cause him to have to deal with both?
As the disease multiplies and more people become ill and it’s widespread the cure becomes obsolete and even increasing the dosages won’t work as the drug company ups the price of the medicine and then Orin Varneys the director blackmailing Robert, finds his way to his lab asking him to find a cure. When things get started and the blackmail tapes are no longer a question, he increases his staff for a short while but the end result is no result and the author through Robert explains how a disease like HRFS permeates, multiples and the statistics and the end results are catastrophic but can he stop it before everyone in the world dies?
Added in we meet Peter his prodigy son and his brilliant daughter Mirielle adapt at math and learning what he knows at the age of five. Christina is at his side and so is Susan but things take a different turn as Bobby becomes immerse in finding the cure and what about his Night Terrors? Will the consume him again?
The cure for the disease was perfect and the victims would be cured but when Bobby explained it to the drug companies their ire raged as the cure would be free to anyone who had the illness. He even injected it in himself five times to see if it worked. There are forces beyond his knowledge and control and betrayals by many close to him that he won’t see. The ending will shock readers and the creator of the first cure well you have to feel the spray yourself to understand who paid the ultimate price besides him. Those along with Colum might learn that things might not turn out the way they want and that cures can be found but what about their fates? How far will someone go to make millions? What about the cure for the disease? Why didn’t Bobby write things down and what role will his 9 year old daughter play? Bazhenov, Gao and the others would learn what happens when greed takes center stage. Lies, betrayals, murder, genocide, family hope and loyalties broken and one man named Robert Austin would create what is called THE AUSTIN PARDOX. A Parodox is a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition that when investigated or explained may prove to be well founded or true. Does that apply to GCN and Robert’s cure? After reading this novel I wonder how many people would hesitate to try a new drug that has never been used. I wonder how far from reality this premise of creating a virus so deadly that it would kill millions really is? What would happen if scientists actually cured AIDS, MS and other diseases? Maybe next time Robert will cure Alzheimer’s.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ network/MJ magazine